Saving Mothers, Giving Life Initiative Reveals Latest Results

2015 data reveals significant progress in decreasing maternal mortality ratio in Uganda and Zambia

WASHINGTON, DC, December 7, 2016 – Today, Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-led public-private partnership to accelerate the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality, released its 2016 Annual Report.

The Annual Report highlights SMGL’s progress in reducing maternal and perinatal mortality across 10 districts in Uganda and Zambia. The report also features baseline data on quality of care in Cross River State, Nigeria to inform future work in the state.

Key country achievements (based on 2015 data) include:

  • Uganda: 44% reduction in the community maternal mortality ratio, a 51% increase in cesarean sections, and a 97% increase in newborns receiving preventive HIV treatment
  • Zambia: 55% reduction in maternal mortality in target facilities and a 44% reduction in the perinatal mortality rate, as well as a 42% increase in women giving birth in health facilities

SMGL implements a set of evidence-based interventions to increase women’s chances of surviving complications of pregnancy and childbirth. These interventions target the three major delays that contribute to maternal mortality: delays in seeking care, delays in accessing care, and delays in receiving quality care. The public-private partnership employs a district health systems approach that focuses on labor, delivery and the first 48 hours after birth, the most vulnerable time for both the mother and the baby.

"The results and stories highlighted in the report are very encouraging," said Claudia Morrissey Conlon, US Government lead for Saving Mothers, Giving Life. "In 2012, SMGL announced ambitious goals and plans to address maternal and perinatal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa and we're excited and encouraged by our progress. As we enter the last phase of the initiative, our SMGL partners are focused on measuring and evaluating all aspects of the program from behavior change to health system readiness as well as ensuring we implement sustainable solutions that positively impact the lives of women and newborns."

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Saving Mothers, Giving Life
Saving Mothers, Giving Life is a five-year public-private partnership working to save women’s lives from complications of pregnancy and childbirth by strengthening health services in countries facing high levels of maternal mortality and HIV. Through Saving Mothers, Giving Life, HIV and maternal and child health platforms are being leveraged and further integrated to accelerate results and save more lives. Launched by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in June 2012, SMGL’s leadership includes the U.S. Government, the Governments of Nigeria, Norway, Uganda, and Zambia, Merck for Mothers, Every Mother Counts, Project C.U.R.E. and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. For more information about the partnership, please visit

Press Contact: USAID Press Office
Telephone: +1-202-712-4320


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